Fitness Science, Fitness Training, Podcast

Glute training: The scientific bottom line – Episode 46 with Bret Contreras PhD



Glutes! Backside! Bottom! Derrière! Tush! Buttocks! Booty! Whatever you choose to call it, training the 3 major muscles that make up the gluteals has been a huge fitness trend in recent years. Glute training or developing shapely, athletic and functional hip musculature is certainly an important aspect of strength and conditioning and physical performance as you will find out in this episode with the ‘Glute Guy’, Bret Contreras! However, for some, it is simply a matter of striving towards the goal of a fit, curvy, Kardashian or Beyonce type figure.

Guest biography

Bret Contreras is considered by many to be the world’s foremost expert on training the gluteals (buttocks) and goes by the name of the ‘Glute Guy’. However, he is also very well versed in a wide range of high-level sports science as a result of years of study and a PhD in this field. Bret is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the author of the highly recommended book, Glute Lab, named after the fitness facility he operates in San Diego, California. He is also acknowledged as the creator of the barbell hip thruster exercise.

Bret contreras-glute training
Bret Contreras PhD

Episode content: Glute training

Well, to be honest, we found Bret to be a really down-to-earth guy and easy to speak with, but with a mountain of knowledge under his relaxed demeanour. This episode covered some fun and enjoyable content, but then we really dived deep into some of the science underpinning strength training for the glutes and other important fitness and success factors. The following are the key elements of our conversation: 

  • 1:43 How do Bret’s training methods help deliver optimal results
  • 4:37 A little about the Glute Lab best-selling book on Amazon
  • 5:55 The origin of the nickname the ‘Glute Guy’
  • 10:00 The popularity of shaping and strengthening glutes
  • 12:50 Are males as interested in training glutes as females?
  • 17:16 Is female muscle fibre type dominance responsible for the ability to train higher volume?
  • 18:30 The rule of thirds for glute training
  • 22:30 The top 3 exercises for optimal glute activation
  • 23:44 Are the top glute activation exercises also the most popular?
  • 26:59 A summary of Bret’s PhD research
  • 30:58 Recent changes in practice due to ongoing scientific research
  • 37:19 The importance of patience and hard work in seeking success

During the show, Bret refers to 2 research papers. The links can be found below:

Glutes to the Max
Are all hip extension exercises created equal?

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